When Andy Cotgreave Calls You Out

It has been over a year since I have written a blog post. Much has happened in that time: I entered my second year of graduate school which brings with it more challenging coursework and higher stacks of reading material, my professional career has me building a data science platform and educating myself about AWS, and I was named a Tableau Ambassador due to my work with the amazing Milwaukee Tableau User Group community!

I had the privilege of attending the Tableau Conference in Las Vegas this year and thoroughly enjoyed the unparalleled keynotes and presentations. Networking is the true reason I attend, though, as there is no other place where you will find a passionate throng of data nerds than at the Tableau Conference. It was at the conference that I ran into Andy Cotgreave, Technical Evangelist at Tableau. I finally found the courage to introduce myself and without skipping a beat he says to me, "It's great to finally meet you. You've stopped blogging." I cannot remember what happen after that moment because ideas and a plan immediately starting forming in my head. How often should I blog? What can I realistically commit to? What should it be about? Should I focus on visualization or is the market saturated? Maybe I focus on data science and how Tableau fits into the data science tech stack? I am a User Group Ambassador so maybe it should be about building a data-minded community?

Given the wild ride I had in 2019 it was difficult to find time to write, though there is no shortage of ideas. I don't know how some people do it -- they work, find time to be amazing Tableau resources, and put out weekly blog posts educating the world about the power of data. Additionally, it's all coherent. Brilliant minds in the Tableau community are able to stay focused on their slice of the world. I struggle to find my niche -- the unique value I add to the data community -- and the result is that my posts are all over the board. Perhaps, through blogging, I will find my competitive advantage, but there are no guarantees.

With that, I can give you some insight into the topics at the top of my list. Please vote on your favorites!

  • 2020 Planning & Goals (what my professional roadmap looks like, how I plan for the #MKETUG, and personal goal setting)
  • Resources for Learning Tableau (how to get started, making sense of everything that's out there, and how to keep learning)
  • Tableau Blueprint at Work (what is it, how to use it, and building a plan to implement it)
  • Master's Degree Update (what I've been doing, how it fits into my career, and planning for my thesis)
  • Book Recommendations (my favorites, how I find them, and surprises that are both good and bad)
  • User Group Ideas (LinkedIn skill drive, speed networking, and virtual user groups)
  • Getting Technical (follow my progress on a personal project that includes AWS, Python, and Alexa)

You'll find any time I truly want to do something, I make at least a rough plan for the whole year. It helps to not have to come up with a topic later on or take a step back to think about how all the pieces fit together. I do my high-level planning all at once and then dive in on the details. I do the same thing with the #MKETUG and it has served me well. Now it's time to set to work.